Dick Perez calls baseball “the portal to my American experience,” and his paintings reflect this, bringing the sport to life for his viewers. Perez, who has been the official artist of both the Philadelphia Phillies and the Baseball Hall of Fame, vividly captures such greats of the game as Mickey Mantle and Ty Cobb, as well as scenes of athletes in action. A longtime painter of such baseball cards as the Donruss Card Company’s famed Diamond King series, Perez combines a thorough knowledge of the sport with a clean, distinctive use of light, shadow and composition. The resulting images are fitting emblems of the game, but their fresh, open quality gives them a vibrancy of their own. Though he often works from photographs, Perez works to make it “clear to the viewer that he is looking at a painting.” He will often combine several black-and-white photographs to create one image, playing with colors and tonal values to make works that are strong personal expressions.
Dick Perez was born in Puerto Rico, and his family moved to New York when he was six years old. He lived and worked in Philadelphia from 1958 until 2013, but in January of this year relocated to Brooklyn, New York.